Charlie Kennedy (saxophonist)

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For other people named Charles Kennedy, see Charles Kennedy (disambiguation).

Charles Sumner "Charlie" Kennedy (July 2, 1927 – April 3, 2009)[1] was a big band-era alto saxophonist.

Kennedy played with Louis Prima's big band orchestra in the 1940s. He performed a solo on that band's 1943 recording of "The White Cliffs of Dover". After a brief stint in his own band, he joined Gene Krupa's big band.

Over the course of his career, he also played with Terry Gibbs's Dream Band, as well as Charlie Ventura, Flip Phillips, Chico O'Farrill, and Bill Holman.

In addition to live performances and recordings with big name bands, he also was a frequent studio musician. He played in the orchestras for popular movies including My Fair Lady and West Side Story.

In the 1970s, for more stable income to support his family with six children, he gave up his career as a full-time musician, but continued to perform in clubs near his home in Southern California.


With Dizzy Gillespie

With Shelly Manne


  1. ^ Thurber, Jon (April 13, 2009). "Charlie Kennedy dies at 81; alto saxophonist played in Gene Krupa's big band". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved April 13, 2009.